So one asks how serious one is. Is it all - one's whole life - an illusion, constant battle, struggle and unending misery, confusion and sorrow? Or can one live differently? Is our brain capable of totally changing its whole structure, its nature? The brain has - if I may go into it and if you are willing to listen, and if you don't listen it doesn't matter either, but if you care to listen and since you have taken the trouble to come here, uncomfortable and all the rest of it, it seems necessary, adequate and right that one should listen to something that is actually true. Our brains have been conditioned along a certain pattern. You can observe it for yourself. The speaker is not a brain specialist, though he has talked to many of them about the brain, but one can observe oneself the activity of the brain. It is conditioned to follow a certain pattern. That brain has evolved through time, through millennia and therefore that brain is not my brain or your brain, it is the brain of mankind. And that brain has followed a certain way, a certain route, a certain pattern, and that pattern has brought about this division between man and man - which is obvious when you look at it, when you go into it. That brain, which has evolved through time, which is the result of millennia, is constantly seeking security in images, in persons, in conclusions, in some ideals, that is the pattern human beings have followed. Please look at it yourself, you will see the truth of it. And it becomes extraordinarily difficult to break that pattern, even an ordinary physical habit like smoking, drinking and all the rest of it. When it becomes deep rooted habit, it is extraordinarily difficult to break it. And the brain has followed this particular path, this particular way of living, being concerned with itself, with its own egotistic activities, its own sorrow, its own particular anxiety, its own pleasures, its own demands - that has been the pattern of this brain for generation after generation.
And we are asking: can that pattern be broken? Not by will, not by some kind of pressure, idealistic carrot, but seeing the actual pattern of our life and seeing the cruelty of it, the inanity, the stupidity of it, that to live in images is the very essence of a destructive way of life. When one sees the truth of it you are already breaking away from it. So one asks: does one actually see the pattern, the norm, the continuity of this movement from generation to generation? And this movement is in the brain, in our brain, in our hearts, in our minds. So can one be free of all that? Otherwise we pursue the way of our daily life which is corrupt, fragmentary, destructive, violent.
Brockwood Park, England
First Public Talk, August 1980